The United States has called on the bickering parties in Bangladesh to shun violence that has left four people killed and scores injured.
“We are concerned about reports of violence and urge all sides to refrain from acts of violence,” a State Department spokesperson told bdnews24.com on Tuesday.
The official said Washington regretted “the loss of life, injury, and damage to property”.
A huge political storm appears to be blowing up over the past several days after both the Awami League and the BNP announced parallel programmes on the first anniversary of the last general election on Monday.
A sting of clashes, however, between BNP supporters, and police and ruling party activists, twined with acts of arson across the country marked the day.
Four people were shot dead in three districts and a huge number of people injured during clashes.
After failing to attend a party rally, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, practically confined by police in her office for the last three days, announced an indefinite nationwide blockade starting from Tuesday.
America had said the polls, boycotted by the BNP-led coalition, were “not credible” and also called for a fresh election as soon as possible with a mutually acceptable poll-time dispensation.
The Obama administration on Tuesday also asked the Bangladesh government to guarantee freedom of ‘peaceful political expression”.
“We urge the government to ensure people can freely exercise their right to peaceful political expression and call on all parties to eschew violence and intimidation,” the spokesperson added.